John Hood

John Hood

You may recall that back in early April, a panel of health analysts presented Gov. Roy Cooper with two forecasts: 250,000 COVID infections by June 1, if Cooper’s initial lockdown orders were kept in place, or 750,000 infections by June 1 if the orders were lifted.

History is full of cases in which people subverted their own just causes by acting impulsively rather than carefully considering the costs and benefits. As the ancient poet Horace put it, “The one who cannot restrain their anger will wish undone, what their temper and irritation prompted them to do.”

Wednesday, 08 July 2020 12:00

COLUMN: Don't keep workers sidelined

North Carolina’s “headline” unemployment rate in May was 12.9%. That’s the highest monthly rate since the Great Depression. But on a number of occasions during the month, I talked with North Carolina restauranteurs and other business owners who were struggling to fill vacancies as they reopened.

If you are among the minority of North Carolinians who haven’t supported the expansion of parental choice in education over the past two decades — in the form of charter schools, open enrollment among district schools, and aid to private-school students who have special needs or modest household incomes — the challenge of COVID-19 presents you with an excellent opportunity to reconsider your position.

Wednesday, 01 July 2020 17:25

COLUMN: State shouldn't play favorites

With hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians out of work and millions fearful about their futures, state and local policymakers are about to encounter a parade of companies, industries, and special-interest groups asking for targeted tax breaks and other handouts.

Conventional wisdom has it that progressives champion urbanity and conservatives disdain it. There’s some truth to that. Progressives are far more likely than conservatives to prefer walkable, high-density communities over auto-dependent, detached-dwelling neighborhoods. Urban areas tend to vote heavily Democratic and rural areas Republican. Even in the more-competitive suburbs, those closest to downtowns tilt blue while outer-ring suburbs and exurbs are red.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020 13:33

COLUMN: Cooper commits monumental error

As soon as he heard the news that a mob had torn down statues on the grounds of North Carolina’s State Capitol on the evening of June 19, Gov. Roy Cooper realized his mistake. He had not been clear enough in instructing his aides, including Secretary of Public Safety Eric Hooks. He knew he’d have to take decisive action.

During the month of May, 38 states saw their unemployment rates drop as governments eased COVID-19 restrictions and allowed more businesses to open and individuals return to work.

Wednesday, 17 June 2020 12:05

COLUMN: Defunding the police is absurd

If most Democrats truly believe the proper response to the George Floyd case — and that of others killed during interactions with law enforcement — is to “defund the police,” they are dangerously out of touch with reality.

Should Gov. Roy Cooper continue his current approach to reopening North Carolina’s shattered economy, speed up the pace to save more jobs and businesses, or slow it down in response to increases in hospitalized patients with COVID-19?

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